‘I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today,” states Martin Luther King Junior in “I Have a Dream.” This famous speech addresses a dream that has changed his life as an entirety, and the life of many others — putting an end to segregation and racism. A dream may be as large as this and can be as small as saving up to buy a toy. However, despite the dream, there are positive and negative impacts that come with it. For instance, Susan B. Anthony, the author of the speech, “After Being Convicted of voting in the 1872 Presidential Election”, dreams of gaining women the right to vote. On the other hand, Madame Loisel from the fiction The Necklace, aspires to live a wealthy life. Both Susan B. Anthony and Madame Loisel pursue in dreams that bring a significant change to the way in which their life proceeds; these changes have both positive and negative impacts on their lives.
During the nineteenth century, women had not yet had the right to vote. The Women’s Suffrage was a movement to help women gain the right to vote. In the 1872 presidential election, Susan B Anthony boldly casted an illegal vote. This incident led her to getting arrested and be fined a bill of $100, but Anthony stood up for herself, arguing that she “shall never pay a dollar of (their) unjust penalty” (“Women’s Suffrage”). Susan B Anthony’s dream in which women should have the right to vote is introduced.
To accomplish this dream, Anthony “drafted a speech arguing that she had committed no crime, and delivered it in each of the 29 postal districts in Monroe County, New York,” directing it at white male citizens that had the right to vote at that time. In her speech, she states, “Being persons, then women are citizens, and no state has a right to make any law, or enforce any old law, that shall abridge their privileges and immunities.” Susan B. Anthony uses logos to persuade her audience that women are citizens, and therefore, every citizen has the right to vote. Anthony plays a major role in the women’s suffrage movement, as she is one of the leaders who was willing to fight for women’s rights, “Her work helped pave the way for the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote” (“Susan B. Anthony”).
The suffrage movement had many beneficial effects on women, including both social and economic effects. This includes the fact that it “allowed for women to secure their place in society and take a closer step to complete equality amongst the people of America”; women’s economic roles, careers, and educational opportunities also increased (“Effects of the Women’s Suffrage Movement”). As you can see, Susan B Anthony opened up the doors to women rights in the United States, but was also disadvantageous to her in a way that she got arrested. It was worth pursuing because she believed in equality, that voting was a human right that applied to every citizen, and not just men. Her eagerness and motivation to pursue this dream came from her view of equality towards women.
Notably, Madame Loisel’s dream of living a luxurious life had completely changed her from the inner to the outer. In the beginning of the story, Madame Loisel is described as a materialistic and discontent person, “She had no gowns, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that” (Maupassant 6). Her character led her to aspire to live more upscale because, and this is the natural instinct of women. Thus, resulting in the loss of the necklace. After the loss of the necklace, Madame Loisel was able to experience what a poverty-stricken life seemed like and could now relate to the poor, “Thereafter Madame Loisel knew the horrible existence of the needy” (Maupassant 11). Not only could she now relate to the poor, “she had become the woman of impoverished households-strong and hard and rough” (Maupassant 12). Madame Loisel and her husband no longer have a servant, which would explain why she would have to take on the work.
However, this time, she did it willingly. The character traits of strong, hard, and rough, show the dramatic change of a character who was money-oriented. These traits show a growth in the character and how she has become a person is is able to withstand a lot. However, due to this positive impact, Madame Loisel sacrificed her outer appearance, “Madame Loisel looked old now… with frowsy hair, skirts askew and red hands (Maupassant 12). This represents the consequences of “trying to be something that you aren’t.” Madame Loisel attempted to hide her beauty through the “triumph of her success” on the day of the ball. In the end, Madame Loisel, as compared to other women of her age, had a dramatic change in her looks. Overall, Madame Loisel’s character positively changed, but her appearance was sacrificed. Despite that fact, this dream was worth pursuing because it was her heart’s desire.
In conclusion, dreams and aspirations can positively and negatively affect a person’s life by causing consequential changes to a person’s life. For instance, Susan B Anthony gained recognition and praise through the women’s suffrage movement. Most importantly, she was able to vote and had many rights after, which is a positive effect on her dream. The negative effect is that she got arrested. In addition, Madame Loisel’s character improved, but her looks downgraded due to the load of work. All in all, dreams and aspirations play a huge role in a person’s life.
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